Today, May 12th, I am excited to officially announce my Democratic candidacy for State Representative for the 12th Suffolk District representing Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Milton! 

Leading up to the September 1st Democratic Primary Election, I will work tirelessly to connect with voters across the district. While it may not be a traditional “in-person” campaign for some time, I hope not only to share my ideas with you, but to hear and learn from you, and work with you to improve our community. I am humbled to ask for your support in this campaign.

I would also like to acknowledge our current and outgoing Representative, Dan Cullinane. I have known Dan for a long time, and as a constituent and friend, I am grateful to him for his years of unwavering dedication to the residents of this district. Like Linda Dorcena Forry and many others before him, Dan leaves some very big shoes to fill. I would be honored for the chance to follow in their footsteps.

Photo of Cam and State Representative Dan Cullinane.

While I am excited to share more about me, my experience and my vision for the 12th Suffolk District with you, I think it is essential to first address the current public health crisis facing all of us. While I’m running for public office, I am and always will be a neighbor first, and the issues that are currently facing our community are far more important than politics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all. Whether you or a loved one has become ill, served on the frontlines as an essential worker, or faced economic hardship as a result of this unprecedented situation, this crisis has reached too many of our homes. The data shows that we in the 12th District are some of the hardest hit. Behind every data point is a family, a friend, and a neighbor whose lives have been impacted in a way that demands we all come together to help each other.

While we cannot be together in person, this time calls for us to act as a community. We can do our part by following the guidelines set by our government leaders, and by looking out for one another. Checking in on a neighbor, buying groceries for a senior, or if you are able, donating to one of the charities set up to help support our most vulnerable citizens — I know the people of the 12th District can stand up to this terrible disease. The City and Commonwealth have shared a lot of information and resources to stay safe and healthy, but if I can be helpful to you or your family in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We will get through this together, and I am running for State Representative to ensure we all emerge stronger.

Growing up in this district for my entire life, my mom Leah, a businesswoman, and my dad Bobby, a Boston Police Officer, instilled in me and my four younger siblings the importance of family, community, and public service. I became involved in my first political campaign, Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate, before I was even old enough to vote. Over the years, I had the privilege to work with leaders who taught me what it means to serve our community: Councilor Frank Baker, former State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and for the last seven years, Mayor Marty Walsh. I initially joined then-Representative Marty Walsh's first campaign for Mayor when I was only 19 years old, and following our victory, I began my career at the City of Boston. 

Photos from Cam’s childhood with his family.

In my seven years working for the City and Mayor Walsh, I have seen firsthand the impact government has on people’s everyday lives. I have been a leader on large-scale projects like the City’s Annual Homeless Census, all of the Mayor’s Annual State of the City Addresses, and most recently, a COVID-19 public health awareness campaign resulting in critical information reaching every single door in the City of Boston in multiple languages. I have also worked with countless constituents, civic associations, elected officials, and advocacy groups to listen and find ways to address their concerns or bring their ideas to life. 

I believe that the purpose of government is to help people and that we must be intentional about supporting our most vulnerable. The most important thing I have learned through my experience is the importance of working together to deliver real results on behalf of residents. I want to take that experience and the relationships I have built to the State House, and continue bringing results back to the place that we love and call home. 

The 12th Suffolk District is an exceptional place. It is one of the most diverse districts in the entire Commonwealth, representing many different communities, cultures, and ethnicities. Our diversity is our greatest strength, and it is what makes this district such an incredible place. While the last few years have seen a great change in our district, there is more to be done until that progress has been felt equally by everyone. I am motivated to run for this seat because the district has disparities that are too many and too large, from one neighborhood — often one block — to the next. It will take a State Representative who knows how to bring every voice and view from across the entire district together to close these gaps. With a State Representative committed to uniting everyone who calls the district home, we can truly realize our full potential. I am running to find collaborative solutions for all, and to carry them forward to Beacon Hill.

Cam with community members throughout the district

It would be the honor of my life to represent this district at the State House, and I hope over the course of this campaign to earn your support. From Mattapan to Milton, from Dorchester to Hyde Park, we need to work to make sure that every street in this district is the cleanest, every neighborhood is the safest, and every resident has equal access to opportunity. If the voters in the 12th Suffolk District grant me the privilege to be elected your State Representative, I will work every single day to ensure that this vision becomes a reality — for all of us.

I am going to need your help to win. So today as I launch my campaign I invite you to sign up to volunteer for our first virtual phone bank this Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm here. We will check in with residents, making sure they’re doing okay through this crisis. If you can’t join us this Thursday you can sign up for another shift, to take a lawn sign, to host a virtual house party, or engage in other volunteer opportunities here.

I am eager to have the district’s most important discussions with you. From more equitable transportation infrastructure to increases in middle and low-income housing, from the scourge of all forms of income inequality to better access to quality education and health care services, and more — I look forward to the opportunity to give back to the community that shaped me. I hope to talk to you often from now until September 1st. Thank you.

Best,

Cam Charbonnier

Candidate for State Representative, 12th Suffolk District